Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon W5 chips for wearable devices


Qualcomm Tuesday announcement the launch of its latest wearable chips, the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. It looks like the company’s “Gen 1” branding for microprocessors is here to stay.

Qualcomm’s next-gen wearable rigs promise 50% less power consumption (and therefore 50% longer battery life), doubled performance, and twice the functionality, all in a 30% smaller and thinner physical footprint.

Both the W5+ and W5 chips are based on a hybrid architecture, with the purpose-built platform featuring a state-of-the-art 4nm system-on-chip (SoC) paired with an always-on 22nm coprocessor. Qualcomm’s hybrid architecture allows new platforms to deliver always-on features like what the company calls “Always Detect Health and Fitness Experiences.”

“The wearables industry continues to grow and present opportunities across multiple segments at an unprecedented rate,” said Pankaj Kedia, Qualcomm’s senior director of product marketing and global head of smart wearables.

“The new wearable platforms – Snapdragon W5+ and Snapdragon W5 – represent our most advanced leap yet. Specifically designed for next-generation wearables, these platforms address consumers’ most pressing needs by delivering ultra-low power, breakthrough performance, and a highly integrated package.

Qualcomm’s W5+ and W5 chipset brings several new innovations to wearables, including ultra-low-power Bluetooth® 5.3, low-power islands for Wi-Fi, GNSS and audio, and all-new low-power states like Deep Sleep and Hibernate.

The new chips will underpin several upcoming wearables powered by Google’s Wear OS and more. Qualcomm’s first customers are Oppo and Mobvoi, which have 25 new devices with both chips in the pipeline.

Additionally, the company has partnered with Compal and Apple vendor Pegatron to create reference designs for wearables powered by the new Snapdragon W5+ and W5 chips.

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